Just as Jesus was setting out on his journey again, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?”
Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat, honor your father and mother.” The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.”
Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and he said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.” On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus insisted, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”
Peter spoke up and said, “We have given up everything to follow you.” Jesus answered, “Truly, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands for my sake and for the Gospel, who will not receive his reward. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time and in the world to come eternal life.“
READ: A man eager to know what he should do more to gain eternal life was disappointed when Jesus told Him to sell everything he had, give it to the poor and follow Jesus. Thus Jesus told His disciples the hardship people with rich possessions have to undertake in order to gain entrance to the kingdom of God. His disciples inquired about their own status in God’s kingdom and Jesus assured them that all those who gave up everything for His sake and that of the Gospel would be richly rewarded
REFLECT: Our possessions are blessings from God especially material possessions acquired honestly. It is but natural that we feel a certain closeness to these because they remind us of our efforts, in order to acquire them. Having them is already a blessing; little do we know that divesting them from ourselves will result to even greater blessings. The capacity to leave them behind ultimately rests on what we value most. Are we ready to enjoy spiritual blessings and delights in lieu of the material? The challenge is for us to get ready so that when the invitation of the Lord comes, we are ready.
RESPOND: How do I look at my possessions? If I use them well, I exercise dominion and control over them. If I keep them, fearing that they will diminish, I am possessed by them, and therefore letting go would be difficult. Perhaps I need to check myself today with regard to how I behave regarding my possessions in life.
PRAY: Lord, grant me the grace to take genuine delight in the fruits of my labor. May I find satisfaction in using them, the generosity to share them, and the magnanimity to let go of them when a higher calling beckons me in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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